I just want the SP to be different than a short Long Program.
I want a Technical Program back. With 0 point for an ommission on a required element.
I just want the SP to be different than a short Long Program.
I want a Technical Program back. With 0 point for an ommission on a required element.
For both spins and sequences where spirals (and other sustained glides) can gain levels, I think it's important that not all features rely on flexibility -- that at least four different options can be earned by showing command of blade-to-ice skills with the body position just showing the minimum level of flexibility required to meet the definition of the position (e.g., spiral, camel, layback).
Of course some skaters won't be able to do all four of the other features or any of the flexibility features and won't be able to earn level 4.
Then we get into the question of aesthetics.
By the time they reach the upper skill levels, skaters who have the right kinds of natural flexibility and body proportions and who have also worked since childhood on their flexibility, extension, and alignment along with the relevant edge and spinning skills will be able to both basic positions and difficult variations and make them look beautiful.
Skaters who are less naturally gifted in those ways and/or who started working on flexibility skills later in life will look less attractive in both basic and difficult positions.
Skaters who lack flexibility will be more likely to eschew features that their bodies can't achieve, and more likely to take options that allow them to earn higher levels without flexibility-based difficult variations.
Some bodies are never going to look beautiful no matter what variations they attempt. And any new skill that skaters attempt to add, to move up from level 2 or 3 elements or to accommodate new rules that don't let them repeat the features they can do best, will look awkward when they first start attempting it -- it may take a few years to make it look good. And a few years for other skaters to learn new options at all.
I think we need to cut the less flexible, and less classically proporitioned, skaters some slack -- in the rules, and in fan commentary, and maybe in judges' assessments of GOE and Performance/Execution -- for trying alternative blade-based skills instead of difficult position variations.
I've heard people refer to Biellmanns and A-frame spins and "hydrant" spirals as ugly by default. IMO, I've seen beautiful and ugly attempts at each, and the full range of quality in between. IMO, by all means punish poor aesthetics with lower GOE (and lower P/E where there are many moments of ugliness in a program). But I do like seeing them from skaters who can make them look good.
For those who can't, for those who can't do any catch-foot or full-split positions, some other spin options that less-flexible skaters have made use of include backward-entry layback, change of edge (now counts only in camel, forward sit, and difficult upright variations including layback), change of direction spins, flying upright. When skaters first try these variations, often they're not beautiful. Some may be more difficult than catch-foot positions -- and certainly more reliant on blade-to-ice skills. Since they're still rare, I like to applaud them for originality even if aesthetics are not their strong point. And with enough practice, the aethetics will improve over the years. I'd rather see skaters take these kinds of creative risks than contort themselves into difficult body positions that will never look good on them and are more likely to cause injury.
If leveled spiral sequences are to be required again -- or offered as an option -- I have some suggestions for difficult edge-based features that would allow technically skilled but less flexible skaters to achieve higher levels using only basic spiral positions. And then the attractiveness of the positions, even at just over 90 degrees, could be considered in GOE and the P/E component.
Definition: An intentional, developed and/or original arrangement of all types of movements according to the principles of proportion, unity, space, pattern, structure and phrasing.
Purpose (idea, concept, vision)
Proportion (equal weight of parts)
Unity (purposeful threading)
Utilization of personal and public space
Pattern and ice coverage
Phrasing and form (movements and parts structured to match the phrasing of the music)
Originality of purpose, movement and design
Shared responsibility in achieving purpose (pairs, ice dancing and synchronized skating)
But even for those who contribute no original ideas of their own, what the judges score in terms of the idea/concept/vision is what they see on the ice. So the skater has to actually "get" the concept/vision that the choreographer is aiming for and embody it on the ice in order for the judges to get it as well. If the choreographer had a great idea but the skater just goes through the motions with no evident understanding, it won't score well.
Maybe a blank-faced performance with halfhearted moves that judges can see was supposed to mean something specific even though the skater isn't achieving it will score slightly higher than a blank-faced performance with halfhearted moves in which the judges can see no specific intent. But not by much.
1. Mixing Pro and Illegible competitions kept the worst of both, and eliminated the best of each. The artistry of the pros couldn't compete against the jumps in illegible programs.
2. GP's way to frantic. Every week. Same program. That is where my husband (who introduced me to the sport) checked out. He just kept seeing the same thing over and over and over.
I think both systems are flawed. And, since this is a judged sport, it will always be unfair, incomprehensible, and debated.
And, with internet access, coupled with network delays, the drama and suspense is gone from watching on tv...meaning less viewers, less sponsors, less...less...less. And no Dick Button! That is the corker
DH - and that's just my opinion
I like some of your ideas about requiring skaters to demonstrate more spin positions and balance between toe and edge jumps, but I think you mistake the purpose of the SP. It is not to measure basic skating skills nor to leave half the field in contention. Leaving aside the early purpose of the SP to devalue figures and let the best freeskaters rise to the top, the practical purpose of the SP after elimination of figures was, basically, to separate the wheat from the chaff. More specifically, it served to separate the men who could do triple axels (preferably in combination with 3 toe) and "ladies who lutz" from those who couldn't. Your memory is playing tricks on you if think back to the short programs of the 80s and 90s and imagine they were about balanced basic skating skills. In those days, spins and FW were kind of pass-fail elements for men, with the tech marks being mostly about the jumps. Spins and the spirals were worth more for ladies, but still, ladies who had clean SP with a 3Lz combination would generally be ranked ahead of the triple loop ladies with lovely edges and killer fw or spins.Allowing more skaters the chance at being in contention after the SP would be a major plus for the sport. The fact that someone with such beautiful skating skills as Nikodinov would be buried under COP under COP isn't right.
I don't feel any real need to alter the basic format and premise of the SP and FS. To me, the biggest problem with the current system is that it has totally devalued the concept of a clean program. I would address this two ways.
First, I would change the GOE values from absolute points to percentages, with -3 GOE being valued at -100% of the element base value (after application of any other modifiers like the UR or second half bonus). This means if a skater falls on a jump, it earns zero points minus 1 for the fall. A jump that is only seriously messed up earns zero points. They could take different approaches with -1 and -2 GOE. I think I'd go with 25% deduction for -1 and 50% for -2, but arguments could be made for 1/3 and 2/3 as well. On the plus side, I would keep +3 GOE at about a 30% bonus. The simplicity of this approach is that it would eliminate any need for those large tables where they translate the different GOE into hard numbers for the different elements.
Second I would revise the instructions on how to score PCS to incorporate assessment of the program as a whole, giving judges more places to reflect disruptions for falls and other errors. (Actually, my first preference would be to revamps the PCS altogether, de-valuing those which are really more points for technical skills (skating skills, transitions) and increasing the relative value of the ones that more nearly reflect qualities from the old presentation mark. Under the current system, the "presentation mark" aspects are only worth maybe about a third of the skater's scores, and I think there is a correlation between that and the complaints that skating seems so much less entertaining as a performance.
The flaw in this argument is that the skaters' interpretation of the choreo is already expressly scored under the Interpretation component plus to some extent under Performance/Execution. They really do not need a third place to do this, especially when this mark really is predominantly about the choreography itself. It just seems fundamentally wrong in any sport for points to be given over who has money and access to get the best choreographers.But even for those who contribute no original ideas of their own, what the judges score in terms of the idea/concept/vision is what they see on the ice. So the skater has to actually "get" the concept/vision that the choreographer is aiming for and embody it on the ice in order for the judges to get it as well.
Last edited by Susan M; 01-30-2014 at 10:24 PM.
Would allowing double jumps in the senior short program -- and occasionally having medalists who play it safe with a double -- send up
Or do you want to require all senior ladies to attempt triple flips and lutzes and turn a middle and lower profile senior ladies' event into even more of a splatfest than it would have been with any triple as the requirement?
DH - and that's just my opinion
Required elements have to be elements that everyone can do.And, no, it should not be a splat fest. It should be an event with required elements that are actually required.
Will you also require triple axels for all senior men?
Why not require other skills that are common among top contenders and rare among the vast majority who don't make it to the TV broadcasts?
I agree with Susan M -- finding a way to require or at least reward 6 different correct jump takeoffs in the long program, with doubles triples or quads meeting the requirement, makes much more sense than requiring jumps in the short program that most skaters ARE NOT PHYSICALLY CAPABLE OF.
Gkelly and Susan: what are your thoughts on the PCS as I defined them in the original post? I included a "overall strength" component which would benefit those who showed the complete range of triples and mastery of at least a good majority of spins. Susan, I know you'll think I have included too many technical components, but the ones I did I feel are essential when grading the overall performance and are not measured appropriately under TES.
Susan: I think you are mixing up the SP's purpose from what it eventually became. There's a reason ladies could only do double jumps, or 3-2 combinations, and that quad weren't permitted until 1999. Regardless, as it stands, the SP proves nothing different than the LP. In each, TES and PCS are judged the same and the skater with the highest total wins. You don't see any benefit to using 2 programs to assess 2 different pieces of skating- pure technique vs. difficulty? And, no, 6.0 didn't care to ensure all skaters had a chance after the SP, but it did give the top 3 an equal chance at gold, and the top 6 or so an equal shot at a medal. Under COP, these huge discrepancies can suck the life out of a competition. There's a very good chance that Chan, Kim, V/T and D/W will have won the Olympics after the first program, and I just don't think that's a beneficial use of the 2 programs or a way to keep the sport interesting for even casual fans.
Kwanfan: I feel mens' and ladies' skating are different disciplines, as are ice dance and pairs, and see no reason why the requirements can't differ. Men have always able to compete higher rotation jumps in their SP than the ladies, for example. The basic spiral sequence shows a skill I feel all elite ladies should have and would choose to still include it in the SP. Those who excell in other areas have options in the LP.
Gkelly: I very much agree that flexibility should be one of many ways to increase an elements' level and that there js tkk much of a weight on it currently. For starters, I think the 8 revolutions feature should be unlimited. I also wouldn't mind going down to 3 levels.
Don't skaters already have to do a required jump in the SP--the axel?
While I agree at times it can be a problem if someone has a huge lead after the short.. I still say what if you have six people who skate great shorts? Why shouldn't six people have a shot at winning. I think that does make things more exciting.Susan: I think you are mixing up the SP's purpose from what it eventually became. There's a reason ladies could only do double jumps, or 3-2 combinations, and that quad weren't permitted until 1999. Regardless, as it stands, the SP proves nothing different than the LP. In each, TES and PCS are judged the same and the skater with the highest total wins. You don't see any benefit to using 2 programs to assess 2 different pieces of skating- pure technique vs. difficulty? And, no, 6.0 didn't care to ensure all skaters had a chance after the SP, but it did give the top 3 an equal chance at gold, and the top 6 or so an equal shot at a medal. Under COP, these huge discrepancies can suck the life out of a competition. There's a very good chance that Chan, Kim, V/T and D/W will have won the Olympics after the first program, and I just don't think that's a beneficial use of the 2 programs or a way to keep the sport interesting for even casual fans.
I just think mistakes need to be penalized more....
"The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy
It would take more time for judges to fill out their scoresheets (on screen, or paper for some local events), but it could be informative to have judges score each criterion separately and then take an average, as part of judge training for sure. For real, only if each judge has fewer components to mark or are not scoring elements as well.
I don't think this particular selection of criteria is an improvement over what's currently in the criteria for this component.
What's wrong with the existing criteria?
Balance, rhythmic knee action, and precision of foot placement
Flow and effortless glide
Cleanness and sureness of deep edges, steps, and turns
Varied use of power/energy, speed, and acceleration
Multi directional skating
Mastery of one foot skating
Pair Skating and Ice Dancing: Equal mastery of technique by both partners shown in unison
Sure, they could be worded differently, or the explanations could be expanded to help get not only judges but also skaters/coaches and interested fans on the same page as to what the Skating Skills component is about.
Some of the criteria that you have left out are fundamental to the appreciation of basic skating quality by experienced judges, even if TV commentators tend not to bother viewers with mentioning subtleties that are difficult to see (or hear) on TV.
Also, your "Form" and "Overall Strength" examples are not really about the actual skating so much as about the elements. What does "tight legs during jump elements" have to do with blade-to-ice skating? "Ability to complete jumps and spins of the highest level" would apply only to skaters at the highest level. How would you define the criterion for middle and lower skill levels?
This seems very element-centric, ignoring all the fundamental techniques of actual skating between the elements. How would it apply to ice dancing and synchronized skating, where actual skating is even more important and there may be no jumps or spins at all?
I think what you're trying to get at with your Form and Overall Strength criteria are pretty much different names for the Carriage and Clarity of Movement criteria currently under Performance/Execution. And I think they would also apply to qualities like lift positions, which have zero relation to what the lifted skater's blades are doing on the ice. So they do not belong in the Skating Skills component. I think they belong more under your Performance & Overall Impression component.
Ice coverage does belong under Choreography, but it deserves a much broader definition -- no need to single out jump placement unless you're also going to talk about everything else that could be considered in relation to use of the entire ice surface.Choreography
[ 6 ] Ice Coverage: use of entire ice surface, setting jumps with adequate space before the boards
This seems to be two or three different things -- use of the body in space, and distribution of elements in time and space. So they should probably be listed in different criteria.[ 5 ] Range of Motion & Balance: use of entire body and utilizing skills that make use of all levels and planes, placing elements consistently throughout the program, minimal clustering of similar elements
So the Variety, Difficulty, Intricacy, and Quality (and Balance of workload and Variety of dance holds) would all be subcriteria subsumed into this one criterion under Choreography? That's going to make everything that happens in between the elements numerically much less important than the elements themselves. That would make me sad. :[ 5 ] Transitions: little use of stroking or 2-foot skating between elements, using MITF and connecting steps to transition between elements, placing spins or unlisted jumps directly before/after jump, unexpected or difficult entry into elements, minimal break in choreography to prepare for elements
You've also left out Purpose and Originality. So there would be much less incentive to try to do anything artistic with the choreography.[ 5 ] Timing & Movement: use of choreography that fits the selected music, accuracy of choreography within a defined theme (ex: tango), appropriate use of arms, placing elements and choreography in time with the music, use of tempos to create highs an lows within program
TOTAL AVERAGE: 5.25
Performance & Overall Impression
[ 5 ] Interpretation: ability to perform choreography in time with the music and evoke an an appropriate interpretation, connection with audience commitment to choreography and/or selected theme (ex: waltz) or character
[ 4 ] Continuity: completion of program from start to finish without interruption due to error or rest stops, stamina from beginning to end of program
[ 4 ] Cleanliness: ability to complete planned content at the highest quality
[ 5 ] Timing: placing and completing elements and choreography in time with the music, use of tempo to create highs an lows within program
TOTAL AVERAGE: 4.5[/QUOTE]
"Ability to complete planned content at the highest quality" is problematic wording. Skaters who can complete all of their content (both elements and transitions/in-between skating), irrespective of difficulty, at the highest quality will be few and far between. That wording implies that if you don't deserve +3s for all your elements and 9+ on a scale of 10 the program as a whole, you haven't met that criterion at all. Better to reword it to allow for the fact that judges will score according to the actual level of quality demonstrated in the program, not either/or highest or not.
I do think there's value in adding written criteria for what you're calling Continuity and Cleanliness. And that they would go under Performance/Execution component in the current breakdown.
But I don't see the advantage of rearranging some of the current criteria into a different configuration of three rather than five components, or of eliminating or devaluing some of the current criteria. And I definitely think the explanations or examples need to be more comprehensive (than the current explanations as well as than what you supply here). and more focused on the whole program, less on the elements -- especially under Skating Skills.